Walking, cycling and scooting to school

Falkirk Junior Bike Club received funding through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund to incentivise and encourage their members to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

The club realised that building healthy activities into their members' day-to-day travelling would benefit the health of the chidren they worked with and also address important environmental issues.

Fraser Johnston, head coach of Falkirk Junior Bike Club said

Given the environmental emergency, it's really important that the next generation build healthy sustainable habits into their lifestyles now. Hopefully through making it fun and providing incentives, we can encourage our members and their parents to leave the car at home and to do the school run in a more sustainable manner.

What did they do?
The idea was simple - incentivise the members of the club to ditch the car and cycle, walk or scoot to school over three tracking periods throughout the year. They also worked with the local Active Travel Hub to run Dr Bike sessions at club sessions so that everyone’s wheels kept turning smoothly.
Every member who took part received a prize for each tracking period and there were some more significant prizes at the end of the project after all tracking periods had been completed.  

How did it contribute to reducing car journeys?
By engaging both the kids who are members of the club and their parents/guardians they were able to encourage a large percentage of their membership to ditch the car for their commute to school. 

They made it fun and engaging by have members post pictures of their walk, ride or scoot on the club Facebook group which helped kids from different school feel like they were part of the one project. They successfully reduced the number of car journeys being made during the tracking periods abd hope that by continuing with the project over a number of years they will be able to imbed active travel into their members' psyche from an early age.

Mum Gemma McAusland said: "Both my boys thoroughly enjoyed participating in the walk/scoot/cycle to school initiative. The added incentive of a prize for doing so gave them the motivation to be active both to and from school. It's great to see FJBC promote these initiatives and encourage healthy choices for its members. The boys don't want to take the car to school now as it's quicker and less stressful to walk - even in the rain!”

Dad Kenneth Mulan said: "We try to avoid using the car whenever possible but this motivated us to keep going on even the worst weather days. Our journey to school is quite long and goes through Falkirk town centre; this provided one of the biggest challenges for us as the mindset of the pedestrians and car users we encountered were very anti cycling and dangerous at times. I hope that the club can work with the local authority to highlight these issues as it is so important that we encourage people to get around without using cars as the main form of transport."

Results
•            In October tracking period 12 members walk/scooted/cycled to school for 1 day of the week, 20 members for 3 days of the week and 50 members for 5 days of the week.
•            In November tracking period, 16 members walked/scooted/cycled to school for 1 day of the week, 28 members for 3 days of the week, and 56 members for 5 days of the week.
•            In March tracking period, 14 members walked/scooted/cycled to school for 1 day of the week, 47 members for 3 days of the week, and 50 members for 5 days of the week.
•            Dr Bike sessions reached audience of over 1200
•            117 images shared throughout project from participants
•            Images shared through our social media channels to audience of more than 2000 across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme is supported by Transport Scotland.